Do I Have To Press Charges If I Report a Rape?

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You Do Not Have To Press Charges If You Call The Police Or A Victim Advocate To Report A Rape.

A very common belief, and a very real reason why people don't want to report a sexual assault, is they think they will have to press charges and go through a criminal proceeding if they contact the police or even a victim advocate. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

Calling the police or the Rape Crisis Hotline, (904) 721-7273, only guarantees you will get the help and support you need. The Women's Center of Jacksonville Rape Recovery Team will respond quickly and compassionately whether or not you chose to report the crime to the police. 

The Women's Center of Jacksonville

The team at the Women's Center will be immediate help when you call the Crisis Hotline. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services provided will include:

  • Emotional support to survivors and their loved ones at any stage of the recovery process.
  • Inform survivors of their rights and options
  • Provide information, referrals, and long-term follow-up to assist survivors with their recovery.
  • Peer-led, empowerment-based support groups for survivors.
  • Assist survivors, who have reported the assault to the police, with navigating the criminal justice system. 
  • Advocacy services are available for non-English speakers. 

The Women's Center also provides the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (Safe) Program.

  • Provides sexual assault forensic exams to survivors of sexual violence ages 18 and older whether or not you chose to report the crime to the police.
  • Process includes a head-to-toe medical check, including injury documentation and collection of physical evidence.
  • Exams are available within 120 hours (5 days) from the time of the assault. 

Calling the Rape Crisis Hotline will be a great first step in an often long recovery. You will never be forced to report the assault to the police and even if you call the police, you will never be forced to press charges. You have up to two years, after having a rape kit done, to decide whether or not you want to report the crime. 

The services provided by the Women's Center are offered free of charge to survivors of all genders in Duval, Baker and Nassau counties. 

* information above provided by Women's Center of Jacksonville Rape Recovery Team brochure

If You Have Questions Regarding Your Rights as a Survivor of Rape or Sexual Abuse

Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.